Horse euthanised after contracting deadly Hendra virus

THE potentially deadly Hendra virus has been detected in a horse on a property in northern New South Wales.

The unvaccinated four-year-old Arab cross was euthanised on a property near Tweed Heads on Wednesday.

Two more unvaccinated horses on a neighbouring property are also being monitored for signs of the disease.


The NSW Department of Primary Industries said vets would assist in decontaminating the affected properties.

Dr Britton said the best way to help minimise infection in horses was by vaccinating the animals.

“Certainly if people understand that they should keep their horses away from flowering or fruiting trees, don’t put their feed and water under the tree and try to minimise any interaction they could potentially have with bats,” she said.

“When you see these cases like this and people exposed the fact that you can actually prevent this and people don’t have to go through this, I think it’s a very simple solution to a problem that doesn’t need to exist.

“If more people vaccinated, we wouldn’t be seeing Hendra cases.”

It’s the first reported case of the bat-borne disease in Australia in more than a year.

The virus was first identified in 1994 following the death of Queensland horse trainer Vic Trail and 13 of his horses in the Brisbane suburb of Hendra.

In the 24 years since, the disease has killed more than 100 horses and four humans in Australia.